A needs analysis for English for electronics and communications of undergraduates at college of information and communication technology - Thai Nguyen University

Tiếng Anh ngày càng trở nên quan trọng đặc biệt là trong học thuật. Do đó, môn tiếng Anh chuyên ngành đã được đưa vào các trường đại học, và trường Đại học Công nghệ thông tin và Truyền thông, Đại học Thái Nguyên không phải là một ngoại lệ. Tuy nhiên để có một chương trình phù hợp, một giáo trình phù hợp, cần phân tích nhu cầu ngôn ngữ của sinh viên trước khi chúng ta tiến hành lựa chọn hay thiết kế giáo trình, chương trình cho sinh viên. Phân tích nhu cầu trong báo cáo cho thấy hầu hết sinh viên đều ý thức được tầm quan trọng của tiếng Anh, đồng thời muốn chú trọng phát triển cả bốn kỹ năng tiếng. Phân tích bài dịch của sinh viên cho thấy, sinh viên đặc biệt gặp khó khăn trong vấn đề từ vựng và đọc hiểu những cấu trúc lạ hoặc các cách kết hợp từ không thường thấy ở tiếng Việt. Kết quả điều tra, phân tích, cho thấy cần chú trọng đến từ vựng khi chọn hay thiết kế giáo trình. Cũng do điều kiện thực tế, thời gian hạn hẹp, kỹ năng đọc được lựa chọn làkỹ năng đầu tiên cần chú trọng, với những chủ đề về những công nghệ cập nhập hiện nay. Ngoài ra, giáo trình nên thiết kế để giáo viên có thể linh hoạt giữa hướng tiếp cận truyền thống và hiện đại.

pdf6 trang | Chia sẻ: yendt2356 | Lượt xem: 281 | Lượt tải: 0download
Bạn đang xem nội dung tài liệu A needs analysis for English for electronics and communications of undergraduates at college of information and communication technology - Thai Nguyen University, để tải tài liệu về máy bạn click vào nút DOWNLOAD ở trên
Nguyễn Mai Linh Tạp chí KHOA HỌC & CÔNG NGHỆ 112(12)/1: 261 - 266 261 A NEEDS ANALYSIS FOR ENGLISH FOR ELECTRONICS AND COMMUNICATIONS OF UNDERGRADUATES AT COLLEGE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY - THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Nguyen Mai Linh* College of Information and Communication Technology – TNU SUMMARY English has become more and more important, especially in the academic world, where most of the work is written in English. For that reason, English for Electronics and Communications (EEC) is offered to engineering students of that major. However, to design an effective ESP (English for Specific Purpose) course, a needs analysis is required to provide a foundation for what should be taught and how it should be delivered. This study focused on the language needs of third year students majoring in Electronics and Communications at Thai Nguyen University of Information and Communication Technology (ICTU). A questionnaire survey was conducted, which revealed that most of the students were aware of the importance of the course. A large number of them intended to develop 4 skills throughout the course. An analysis of written test was also carried out. The results also showed the students’ weaknesses in the language. The results of the study provide an insight into the students’ needs and give guidelines to develop of new course book which fit the students’ needs. Key words: Needs analysis, curriculum development, syllabus design, ESP, lexical errors. NEEDS ANALYSIS AND ITS ROLE IN ESP CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT* EEC is a requirement for all undergraduate students majoring in Electronics and Communications subfields atICTU. However,EECsyllabus has not fully been developed, and is not derived from the students’ particular needs. The problems of the current syllabus are also reflected in the students’ results as well as the situation in classrooms such as students’ low motivation, numbers of students quitting the class. Therefore, the current syllabus should be renewed, in which a needs analysis should be conducted to identity the students’ language needs and the potential factors that can affect the implementation of the new syllabus. Needs can be understood in many different ways and have been discussed by a number of authors. Five common meanings of needs have been defined [4]. First,needs canrefer to what learners have to be able to do at the end * Email: mailinh0101@gmail.com of the course to fulfill some job requirements. Second, needs can be what learners are desirable to do after the course by the community or society. Third,needs can be the process learners need to pass through to acquire language. Fourth, needs refers to what learners want to have after the course. Finally, needs are interpreted as lacks, or in particular, linguistic lacks what learners do not have and need to have. Needs analysis is “the process of determining the needs for which a learner or a group of learners requires a language and arranging the needs according to priorities” [3, p. 353]. In ESP, the main goal of needs analysis is to identify the language skills and the proficiency that learners need to perform some particular tasks in the field [4]. Well-aware of the importance of a needs analysis in designing a ESP syllabus, many curriculum specialists have set needs analyses as the first step of the whole curriculum development procedure. Different approaches to needs analysis have been conducted. In designing an English course of computing, [6] Nguyễn Mai Linh Tạp chí KHOA HỌC & CÔNG NGHỆ 112(12)/1: 261 - 266 262 selected semi-structured interview technique, including general information, difficulties in EFL (English as a Foreign Language), strategies used and terminology issues. In Vietnam context, in a study to explore the learning needs of electronics students at Hue Industrial College, a questionnaire survey to current students, former students, language teachers and subject matter teachers was conducted by [2]. They proposed a list of topics which could be covered in the coursebook such as digital input-output, television, warming system, semiconductor, and so on. The study also showed that there were a high percentage of students whose purposes of studying ESP were to increase technical vocabulary and reading skill. In the line with the previous research, this study aimed to investigate learners’ needs (what they want to learn and what they need to learn) for EEC at the College of Information and Communication Technology, Thai Nguyen University METHODS Participants Participants for questionnaire survey were 100 third year undergraduates majoring Electronics and Communications, which accounted for about 30% of the population. They had taken the course of EEC, so that they really knew what the course was. As third year students, their knowledge of the subject matter was just newly being established. Reliability of the questionnaire Cronbach Alpha is a measure of internal consistency which calculates the correlation of the score for each item with the total score for each individual, and makes a comparison between that and the variability present for all individual item scores [5]. “Cronbach’s coefficient α is a reasonable indicator of the internal consistency of instrument that do not have right – wrong (binary) marking schemes, thus can be used for both essay questions as well as questionnaires using scales such as rating or Likert” [1, p. 279]. Cronbach’s coefficient α of the questionnaire in the study was at 0.707, which is an acceptable reliability. Analysis of Students’ translated texts In addition to questionnaire survey, students’ translated texts were also analyzed. During the course, the students were asked to complete different types of test from translation one to comprehension one. Moreover, students were also asked to have a presentation in groups to discuss some of common issues in their areas, which actually could be used to assess students’ spoken language proficiency. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Students’ interest of EEC Table 1. Students’ interest in EEC Interest Usefulness No, not a little 2.0 1.0 Yes, a little bit 31.0 4.1 Yes 53.0 20.6 Yes, very much 14.0 74.2 Table 1 shows that our participants were generally interested in the course with over 50 participants saying yes.It can be seen that most of the participants were aware of the usefulness of EEC. There were over 72% of the participants who thought EEC was very useful but only 14% of participants were very interested in EEC and 53% others were to some extent interested in it. It could be said that students are mainly aware of the importance of EEC for their future career or at least their study of other subjects, but as many of them often complain it is difficult, which makes them lose interest in it. Students’ objective of taking the course According to Table 2, it seems that the participants were not aware of the aspect which EEC played the most important role for them. Over 50% of the participants agreed Nguyễn Mai Linh Tạp chí KHOA HỌC & CÔNG NGHỆ 112(12)/1: 261 - 266 263 that EEC was very useful in using technical materials and finding a good job, but this number is not good enough to indicate that the students have a clear purpose in mind when studying EEC, whether they studied to read their subject matter textbook in English or to get a good job in future. There was even a participant who responded that EEC was not useful at all in using technical material in English. He did not see any meaning of EEC in reading English technical text, which means EEC has failed in one of its very first purpose set at the beginning.That is to help students to deal with technical texts in English. Students’ preferential skills Table 3 indicates that the participants seemed to prefer the skills they lacked. Therefore, listening and speaking ranked the first, and the second was the group of terminology and reading. However, after a brief interview with teachers in Faculty of Electronics and Communication Technology as well as English teachers in the Faculty of Basic Sciences, most of them recommended that the students needed to know the terminology systems and develop reading and writing skills which are most important for their future forthose who do not live in an English speaking environment. One fact which should be taken into consideration is that the class time is limited and the course lasts for only 12 weeks of 3 class hours each week. Focusing on too many skills is unrealistic. Therefore, to be balanced, one recommendation is that terminology and reading should be focused after the analysis of questionnaire survey and teacher interview. Teaching approaches and class activities Four activities were provided for the students to number from what they thought the most effective to the least effective. 1. Teachers explain new topics and correct students’ homework 2. Analysis of structure and new words 3. Small group discussion and other group activities 4. Games/presentation There were a large number of participants who wanted their teachers to explain new topics and correct their homework. The second activity that many participants agreed on its effectiveness was analysis of structure and new words. It seems that the students tended to prefer traditional teaching activities. Table 2. Students’ objective of taking the course English materials (%) Good jobs (%) Communi- cation (%) Language skills (%) Not useful at all 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Not very useful 7.1 4.0 11.0 7.1 Useful 41.4 39.0 34.0 63.6 Very useful 50.5 57.0 55.0 29.3 Table 3. Students’ preferential skills Grammar Reading Writing Listening Speaking Not useful 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Will be useful 66.7 61.0 75.0 56.0 60.0 Most important 32.3 39.0 25.0 44.0 40.0 Nguyễn Mai Linh Tạp chí KHOA HỌC & CÔNG NGHỆ 112(12)/1: 261 - 266 264 It is more on grammatical translation. Some new teaching approach of using games/presentation and group discussion have not attracted them yet. Theoretically, the new approach replaces the old one because of its advantages, and our students have not seen the effectiveness of those activities which could be explained by the fact that those activities which have been conducted up to now may not be well-organized to attract students to enjoy and get benefits from those activities. This recommends that both traditional teaching approach and current teaching approaches should be well-blended together to create a transition from the old to the new Problematic translated texts The students were asked to translate the following texts into Vietnamese Text Frequency modulation (FM) and phase modulation (PM) are commonly known as angle modulation. Both FM and PM are used extensively in communications systems. FM is used in radiobroadcasting, for the transmission of the sound signal in standard (NTSC) TV, for private land-mobile radio systems, for direct-satellite broadcasting, and for cordless and cellular telephone systems, just to name a few common applications. PM by itself and in combination with AM is used extensively in modern data-communications systems. Angle modulation has a very important advantage over AM in its ability to provide increased immunity to noise. Angle- modulation systems typically require a larger bandwidth than AM systems, a necessary trade-off for its improved resistance to noise. And the following is one part of a student’s translation: Translated text Điều tần và điều pha được biết đến một cách thông dụng như phạm vi điều chế. Cả FM và PM đều sử dụng rộng rãi trong hệ thống giao tiếp. FM được sử dụng trong phát thanh vô tuyến cho truyền dẫn của tín hiệu âm thanh trong chuẩn NTSC, cho hệ thống vô tuyến di động trọng đất riêng, cho vệ tinh trực tiếp và cho hệ thống điện thoại không dây và tế bào, chỉ tên một vài ứng dụng thông dụng. PM bởi chính nó và trong sự kết hợp với AM được sử dụng rộng rãi trong hệ thống dữ liệu giao tiếp hiện đại. Phạm vi sự điều chế có một thuận lợi rất quan trọng qua AM trong khả năng của nó cung cấp sự miễn nhiễu với nhiễu, vì hệ thống điều chế đổi lại 1 băng thông rộng hơn hệ thống AM một sự cần thiết cân bằng cho nhiễu. Generally speaking, the translation doesn’t make sense. If we take a closer look at the translated version, the following mistakes could be identified. First of all, this student had difficulty in choosing the correct meaning for the context; for example, in this passage, communications means truyền thông; then communications systems means hệ thống truyền thông. Secondly, the student had a problem in word order of a noun phrase with noun noun combination. The student translated angle modulation into phạm vi điều chế, even in this sentence the student mistranslated angle into phạm vi, instead of góc. Even if the student translated it correctly, and we replace phạm vi by góc, it should be điều chế góc, not góc điều chế. The same case could be seen in the translation of the phrase data communications systems. It should be hệ thống truyền thông dữ liệu, instead of hệ thống dữ liệu truyền thông (if the student correctly translated communications). Thirdly, the student tended to wrongly identify modification of a word; for some specific case, it causes the word order problem in noun noun combinations. For instance, the student translated private land- mobile radio systems into hệ thống vô tuyến di động trọng đất riêng. He mistranslated the word private and in this way, it looks as it modifies land, but it actually modifies systems. Finally, the student faces with difficulty in understanding unfamiliar combinations of words, such as the phrase in the last sentence. Errors specified in students’ translated phrases. In the students’ translation, a numerous other mistakes can be summarized in Table 4: Nguyễn Mai Linh Tạp chí KHOA HỌC & CÔNG NGHỆ 112(12)/1: 261 - 266 265 Table 4. Students’ common errors No. Error Types Examples Source language Target Language 1 Word order High-energy ultraviolet light wave Wave reflection Năng lượng cao ánh sáng cực tím Sóng phản xạ 2 Part of speech Quá trình điều chế Bộ thu sóng vô tuyến Modulate process Radio wave receive 3 Mistranslation Carrier power Phân loại băng tần Nguồn sóng mang Range type In conclusion, the analysis of students’ written test showed that the student faced a lot of difficulty in understanding complex phrases and unfamiliar combination of the text. They had a serious problem with long noun phrases which are very common in English technical text. The evidence showed that they often identified wrong the head word of the phrase or actually they were not well aware of the difference between Vietnamese noun phrase word order and the English one. This led to the mistranslation of those phrases and misunderstanding of those phrases. Another difficulty identified was that they seemed not be aware of the part of speech needed in different position of the phrase or sentence. From the above analysis, some recommendations could be made in designing a new course book. Firstly, in terms of focused skills, based on what students think they need to learn and what teachers think students need to learn as well as their weaknesses, the coursebook should focus on improving their technical vocabulary and reading skills. Secondly, topics covered in the coursebook should be more updated, so that it could motivate students to read because they may find that they are reading something new in their areas. Thirdly, more exercises could be provided for students to revise and practice the language aspects they just learn. The last but not least, both traditional and current language teaching should be used, which could make students feel that they learn and actually learn. Summary Needs analysis is an essential step required to carry out before any ESP syllabus design. The analysis show there is a requirement for a skill-balanced ESP syllabus with more modern topics, but reading and specialized vocabulary are still on focus. REFERENCES [1]. Black, T. R. (1999). Doing Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences. London: SAGE Publication. [2]. Luu Quy Khuong & Truong Thi Phuong Chi (2008). Exploring The Learning Needs Of Electronics Students At Hue Industrial College: Towards A Suggested Syllabus. Tạp chí Khoa học và Công nghệ, Đại học Đà Nẵng, 27(4), 153-159 [3]. Richards, J. C., & Schmidt, R. (2003). Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics. London: Longman. [4]. Robinson, P. (1991). ESP Today: A Practitioner's Guide. New York: Prentice Hall International. [5]. Salkin, N. J. (2007). Statistics for People who (Think They) Hate Statistics. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications. [6]. Xenodohidis, T. H. (2002). An ESP Curriculum for Greek EFL Students of Computing: A New Approach. ESP World, Issue 2, Vol. 1. Retrieved November 29th, 2006 from http:// www. esp- world.info/index.html Nguyễn Mai Linh Tạp chí KHOA HỌC & CÔNG NGHỆ 112(12)/1: 261 - 266 266 TÓM TẮT PHÂN TÍCH NHU CẦU HỌC TIẾNG ANH CHUYÊN NGÀNH ĐIỆN TỬ - TRUYỀN THÔNG CỦA SINH VIÊN ĐẠI HỌC TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC CÔNG NGHỆ THÔNG TIN VÀ TRUYỀN THÔNG - ĐẠI HỌC THÁI NGUYÊN Nguyễn Mai Linh* Trường ĐH Công nghệ thông tin và Truyền thông – ĐH Thái Nguyên Tiếng Anh ngày càng trở nên quan trọng đặc biệt là trong học thuật. Do đó, môn tiếng Anh chuyên ngành đã được đưa vào các trường đại học, và trường Đại học Công nghệ thông tin và Truyền thông, Đại học Thái Nguyên không phải là một ngoại lệ. Tuy nhiên để có một chương trình phù hợp, một giáo trình phù hợp, cần phân tích nhu cầu ngôn ngữ của sinh viên trước khi chúng ta tiến hành lựa chọn hay thiết kế giáo trình, chương trình cho sinh viên. Phân tích nhu cầu trong báo cáo cho thấy hầu hết sinh viên đều ý thức được tầm quan trọng của tiếng Anh, đồng thời muốn chú trọng phát triển cả bốn kỹ năng tiếng. Phân tích bài dịch của sinh viên cho thấy, sinh viên đặc biệt gặp khó khăn trong vấn đề từ vựng và đọc hiểu những cấu trúc lạ hoặc các cách kết hợp từ không thường thấy ở tiếng Việt. Kết quả điều tra, phân tích, cho thấy cần chú trọng đến từ vựng khi chọn hay thiết kế giáo trình. Cũng do điều kiện thực tế, thời gian hạn hẹp, kỹ năng đọc được lựa chọn làkỹ năng đầu tiên cần chú trọng, với những chủ đề về những công nghệ cập nhập hiện nay. Ngoài ra, giáo trình nên thiết kế để giáo viên có thể linh hoạt giữa hướng tiếp cận truyền thống và hiện đại. Từ khóa: Phân tích nhu cầu, xây dựng chương trình, thiết kế chương trình, ESP, lỗi từ vựng. Phản biện khoa học: TS. Dương Đức Minh – Trường Đai học Kỹ thuật Công nghiệp – ĐHTN * Email: mailinh0101@gmail.com

Các file đính kèm theo tài liệu này:

  • pdfbrief_41516_45283_95201416124745_4813_2048542.pdf